27 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Voice is lost

      Can we, like Shepherds, tell a merry Tale? Stephen Duck, The Thresher's Tale (poem)

      There's a link here to shepherds and a bardic tradition. In some sense, shepherds have lots of time to kill during the day and thus potentially tell stories. But they're also moving around their environment which also makes it easier for them to have used songline-like methods for attaching their memories to their environment.

      How far back might this tradition go in our literate culture?

      I also wonder at the influence of time on oral traditions as the result of this. Lynne Kelly describes calendrical devices in a variety of indigenous settings in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies for potential use in annual spaced repetition. What about the spaced repetition within daily cycles of regular work as described in this paper with respect to shepherds, fishing communities, and crofting?

      The daily cycle of life may have been a part of the spaced repetition for memory.

      How might we show this?

      A quick example that comes to mind is the French children's song Alouette, Gentille Alouette which details how one kills, cleans, and dresses a chicken for cooking.

    1. Bigger is better.

      Research shows that high-resolution monitors make thinking easier. This also seems true of classrooms which use large posters and maps as teaching aids at lower grades.

      Why don't we use these methods as we grow older?

      When used in mnemonic traditions, one can use vast spaces to create memory palaces that become thinking vistas within the brain. How can we better leverage these effects while still maintaining the effectiveness of focused journeys?

    2. Valorize motion, not sitting still.

      I wonder how much of our genetic programming is based on centuries of evolution with humans moving around their landscapes and attaching their memories to them?

      Within Lynne Kelly's thesis about stone circles, henges, etc. most of the locations have roads and entryways into them which require movement much less the idea of dancing and singing attached to memory performance as well.

  2. Aug 2021
    1. Then there are the really exotic hands, which are turned into a visual feast. Fig. 7 shows and an arm that was turned into the body of a dragon, while the hands in Fig. 8 (which look like ladies’ gloves) are attached to the wrong location on the human body. These hands are not just meant to point out an important passage, they must also have been intended to bring a smile on the reader’s face.

      Far beyond this, they're most likely used as mnemonic devices to associate the important information with a more memorable image for storing in one's memory palace.

    1. I'd start with the basics of 0-9 of the Major System and then introduce the method of loci. Once they've got those two basics down reasonably I'd expand their Major system up to 99 at a minimum.

      The tougher part then is expanding your pedagogy to build these tools into the curriculum so that you're actively using them with your content.

      You might appreciate the experience from Lynne Kelly here: https://www.lynnekelly.com.au/?p=4794. Her excellent book Memory Craft also has some interesting examples and stories for children including the use of what she calls rapscallions for use in multiplication tables, languages, and other educational applications. Her book also has a wealth of other methods and potential applications depending on the subjects you're teaching.

      I'd love to hear your experiences as you progress with your class.

    1. commonplace tabulae effectively functioned as memory aids to beused in conjunction with other texts and the direct observation of objects.

      The commonplace tabulae created by Linnaeus used spatial layout which also served as memory aids.

    2. This connection between the topical space of book pages andcabinet interiors was reinforced by the very word, loculus, which Linnaeus generally used to referto cabinet compartments. This term was diminutive of locus, that is, the word employed by clas-sical orators to denote a ‘place’ in the mind reserved for related ideas or concepts. Early modernhumanists drew direct analogies between the label assigned to such places in the mind and theheads that they used to gloss the content of quotations and personal observations. This relationshipbetween the ‘space’ of the mind and space on the page facilitated the logic of commonplacing all

      the way through the eighteenth century.

      Direct linguistic analogies for commonplacing one's notes and the placing of ideas into the memory via the word locus.

    1. It was today as I was doing Chinese vocabulary that it struck me. I tried to add words using the locations from memory because it was cold, and I didn’t want to go out. I know each of the houses in the songline, but adding vocabulary is way way easier when I walk and do the learning in the physical space. I couldn’t do it from home.

      I seem to recall reading anecdotes of aboriginal peoples who knew areas and water holes in places they'd never visited in their lives. I'm wondering how they may have encoded these in songlines for places they'd never been to and physically seen.

      It would seem that it's better to use a physical space when you have access to it, but I don't think I have as much issue adding things to pre-existing palaces/songlines as Kelly describes here. I wonder how this works out for others?

    2. I am beginning to think that the significant difference is that with songlines, learning is always done in the physical ‘memory palace’ which is constantly revisited. It can be recalled from memory, but is encoded in place. For me, that is way more effective, but I have aphantasia and very poor visualisation, so it may not be as big a factor for others. So recalling your childhood home can be a memory palace, but not a songline.

      Lynne Kelly is correct here that we need better delineations of the words we're using here.

      To some of us, we're taking historical methods and expanding them into larger super sets based on our personal experiences. I've read enough of Kelly's work and her personal experiences on her website (and that of many others) that I better understand the shorthand she uses when she describes pieces.

      Even in the literature throughout the middle ages and the Renaissance we see this same sort of picking and choosing of methods in descriptions of various texts. Some will choose to focus on one or two keys, which seemed to work for them, but they'd leave out the others which means that subsequent generations would miss out on the lost bits and pieces.

      Having a larger superset of methods to choose from as well as encouraging further explorations is certainly desired.

    1. Anecdotal mention here of someone using sketchnotes or doodling as a mnemonic device.

      Sketchnotes could be a means of implementing visual method of loci in one's note taking. Like creating a faux memory palace. Also somewhat similar, expecially in the case of the leaf doodle mentioned above, to the idea of drolleries, but in this case, they're not taking advantage of the memory's greater capacity of imagination to make things even more memorable for long term retention.

    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/commonplacebook/comments/jb8x3d/what_does_your_indexing_system_look_like/

      Brief discussion of indexing systems for commonplace books. Locke's system is mentioned. Another person uses a clunky system at the bottom of pages to create threaded links.

      Intriguingly, one person mentions visiting theirs often enough that they remember where things are. (spaced repetition with a bit of method of loci going on here)

  3. Jul 2021
    1. How a memory palace works When we’re learning something new, it requires less effort if we connect it to something we already know, such as a physical place. This is known as elaborative encoding. Once we need to remember the information, we can “walk” around the palace and “see” the various pieces. The idea is to give your memories something to hang on to. We are pretty terrible at remembering things, especially when these memories float freely in our heads. But our spatial memory is actually pretty decent, and when we give our memories some needed structure, we provide that missing order and context. For example, if you struggle to remember names, it can be helpful to link people you meet to names you already know. If you meet someone called Fred and your grandmother had a cat called Fred, you could connect the two. Creating a multisensory experience in your head is the other part of the trick. In this case, you could imagine the sound of Fred meowing loudly. To further aid in recall, the method of loci is most effective if we take advantage of the fact that it’s easiest to remember memorable things. Memory specialists typically recommend mentally placing information within a physical space in ways that are weird and unusual. The stranger the image, the better.

      This notion of using spatial memory to encode other concepts - or even the P-A-O sytem where a 2 digit number encodes a person performing an action is an interesting idea for someone like me who forgets quite a bit.

  4. Jun 2021
    1. Yet even thisdecline is followed by an unexpected resurgence in mnemonics in the 1800s, when Connors claimsthat writing was replacing speaking in school settings (127).

      I would question this statement, as annotated separately in this article. I have a feeling that the mnemonic tradition into the 1800's was more heavily influenced by the rise of the idea of the major system and not so much by the memory palace or the method of loci. This definitely seems to be the case in the United States based on my readings.

    2. Ong puts it this way:“Ramus can adopt memory intodialectic because his entire topically conceived logic is itself a system of local memory”(Ramus280).However, it is a simplified systemunlike the classical one: The ancient precepts about images and theirfacilitation of invention have been dropped.

      What is gained and lost in the Ramist tradition versus the method of loci?

      There is some simplicity to be sure and structure/organization aid in the structured memory.

      We lose the addition work, creativity, and invention. We also loose some of the interest that students might have. I recently read something to the effect that we always seem to make education boring and dull. (cross reference this, which I haven't read: https://daily.jstor.org/why-school-is-boring/)

      How does this interact with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's idea of flow? Does Ramism beat out the fun of flow?

      How also, is this similar to Kelly's idea of the third archive as a means of bringing these all back together?

    3. Ramist method does away withimaginesand architecturalloci, replacing them with asystem of abstract, logical arrangement.

      Similar to Yates' theory.

    4. Memory treatises published in Europe, by half-century.

      In looking at this, I immediately wonder about the nature of the treatises. I would suspect there's a slow decline of treatises on the method of loci while the 1800's sees an increase of those writing about the major system and which I've found generally aren't aware of the method of loci or earlier methods.

    5. Todate, however, no scholar has taken advantage of bibliographic resources to verify whether or notmemory treatises did in fact decline in England in the latter sixteenth and early seventeenthcenturies, a period that coincides with the continuing influence of iconoclasm and the risinginfluence of English Ramism. In this article I provide such bibliographic evidence, demonstratingthat the publication of memory treatises abated in England following Henry VIII’s reforms andduring the English Civil War

      When reading Yates and thinking about the disappearance of these traditions in the West, I've wanted to delve into this exact question!

      Glad to see the work has already been done for me.

  5. May 2021
    1. This study reveals several subtle, but important advantages for teaching of the Australian Aboriginal memorization method as compared to the more widely known memory palace technique. In particular the Australian Aboriginal method seems better suited to teaching in a single, relatively short instruction period. This is evidenced by the increased probability of obtaining complete recall of the target list after a 20 minute teaching period, and the pronounced improvement in correct sequencing of information which was observed compared to the memory palace approach.

      Here's the tl;dr version of the study:

      Australian Aboriginal memorization methods >> Western method of loci methods

    2. Both methods of loci improved upon the already high level of recall among medical students relative to those who received no memory training.

      I'm saddened to see the erasure of the Australian Aboriginal approach (possibly better termed Songlines or Dreaming for specificity) here only to have it lumped into the Western method. This is worse when their general results show the Australian approach to be significantly better.

      This may be due to over-familiarity with the techniques which are broadly similar, but for rigor and respect they should remain separate in this paper.

    3. A full description of the classical memory palace technique can be found in [12].

      A full one, but not necessarily a good one, particularly for beginners.

    1. As someone who knows both methods and has likely practiced them in reasonable depth, I'm curious what Dr. @LynneKelly thinks. I'd love to see this same study done to include song, dance, painting, etc. to expand the potential effects.

      If nothing else, it's good to see some positive research on the methods which will hopefully draw more attention to the pedagogy and classroom use.

      Dr. Reser said the Monash School of Rural Health is considering incorporating these memory tools into the medical curriculum once teaching returns to a post-COVID normal. “This year we hope to offer this to students as a way to not only facilitate their learning but to reduce the stress associated with a course that requires a lot of rote learning,” he said. —https://scitechdaily.com/ancient-australian-aboriginal-memory-tool-superior-to-memory-palace-learning-technique/

    1. My wife taught me to add some color after some pages are filled and the more I do that, the more I like browsing through the journal. Watercolor is still too heavy for most notebooks and I don’t bother to bring colored pencils on location. That’s a relaxing activity to do at home.

      Color also adds creativity and additional loci to one's pages which also can help to make them more memorable.

  6. Apr 2021
    1. Read chapter 11 "Memorizing Number" to see what Gardner says about available techniques. He only covers the phoenetic major system and some basic associative techniques.

      No mention of the method of loci. Some interesting references listed for the chapter however.

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